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Poster: adks12020 Date: Aug 15, 2011 11:40am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Comparing GD and Phish (Without Shooting Phish in a Barrel)?

I'm a Phish fan. I have been since I was 14 (I'm 29 now) and I've seen them around 100 times. The reason I got into Phish was actually for their musical talent. I've been a huge jazz fan since I was young and really respect people that play their instruments well and play together well as a band. Phish fits the bill in both regards. My first favorites were the long jams on A Live One (Slave to the Traffic Light, You Enjoy Myself, Stash, Tweezer) On top of that they put on a great live show full of energy and yes there is often some humor involved but i don't think that takes away from the show in any way. In fact it brings the crowd in.

As far as the lyrics go...if I wanted to see a band for the lyrics Phish wouldn't be it. I'm one of the few long time fans that doesn't like the stories Trey sometimes tells and doesn't care about the fantasy driven lyrics of Gamehenge and the like. I'm there strictly for the music.

Also, I think I need to point out that lyrics aren't always an essential point of feelings evoked through music. Music itself does that quite nicely on it's own most times. With Phish I kind of think of their jamming as (at the risk of sound like a spent wookie) painting different landscapes with sound. Each time they change key or tempo or time signature they try to create a different mood...from light and bouncy, down into some dark minor key, then gradully pulling away into an ethereal space and then back to the song again. It's different than dead jamming in so many ways. It's a little less free form. They play more as a group and less as individuals that miraculously play completely different things sometimes that seems to work together (the Grateful Dead). That's why Trey once said "there are some aspects of the Grateful Dead I love; There are some aspects of the Grateful Dead I don't like. We're not the Grateful Dead"

If you go to a Phish show expecting something like that then you will definitely be disappointed but they don't do the same thing as the Grateful Dead so I think it's odd to go in expecting that anyway.

I think I'm rambling a little now but hopefully I got my point across. Phish is a more modern, rock, jazz, fusion type band. They tend to be more technical than the Dead but that's because for the musicians in the band that suits them best. The Grateful Dead had more of an Americana influence also infused with some jazz, blues, rock and fusion and they winged it a little more and had a "lets see what happens" vibe...sometimes tanked sometimes didn't...always interesting though.

Two very different bands and I love them both for different reasons.

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Aug 15, 2011 7:24pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Comparing GD and Phish (Without Shooting Phish in a Barrel)?

>I think I need to point out that lyrics aren't always an essential point of feelings evoked through music. Music itself does that quite nicely on it's own most times

Absolutely! (Early Beatles? She loves you yeah yeah yeah ... )

And I agree it would be silly to go to a Phish show (or any show) expecting and thinking of another band. But it can be useful to make the comparison in terms of locating their place in the music and perceptual map, particularly given the obvious fan and cultural overlap. (E.g., what's the "Venn diagram"?)

What I've got from this thread on that appeal/different space is: a lightness and silliness, rocks harder, more of a jazz fusion/prog rock orientation, perhaps funkier, perhaps more contrasting or quickly changing musical landscapes ... also, there's an appeal on the sheer skill level (though I wonder if this forum just draws more folks with an ear and apreciation for the technical aspects of playing!)

Gotta say the folks on this forum who are Phish fans sure do a better job at differentiating/explaining what grabs its fans than the standard "dude, they're awesome"!!!

It also helps me to understand better why it doesn't grab me. For instance, I lost interest in "rocks harder" after getting into the Dead. That's a very "classic rock" kinda thing. So the extent to which a "newer" band like Phish incorporates what I liked at 14 or so in Zeppelin, Yes, etc (and still like for nostalgia's sake, but not in a huge way) would be a plus for some, and a "meh" for me. Then there are all the other aspects that were discussed, some of which are, again, a plus for some and a "meh" for me.

Doesn't make it good or bad. Just makes it what it is. I also dislike the Police and Sting and am not interested in U2. I'd never say those bands are "bad," just not my thing.

This post was modified by AltheaRose on 2011-08-16 02:24:12

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Poster: TOOTMO Date: Aug 16, 2011 5:58am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Comparing GD and Phish (Without Shooting Phish in a Barrel)?

"Gotta say the folks on this forum who are Phish fans sure do a better job at differentiating/explaining what grabs its fans than the standard "dude, they're awesome"

I think the dude-they're-awesome fan is the one that is attracted to the marketing aspect, vis-a-vis, "phree phish show", "phish phood", etc. And, try and read a Phish show review: as any good subgroup knows, you got to have your own language—"can you dig it, man?" Phish Phans (and I think that was a brilliant idea to go with "Phans" instead of "PhishHeads") have more acronyms than the Government.

I think a lot of kids took up Phish as their generation's "last great adventure" same as the Dead's appeal before them as being an alternative to running away and joining the circus. If it's the early 90's and I am 20 and I have read the Beats, the Psychedelia, and I have made it through Reaganomics, where am I going to go to find like-minded people, the counterculture of the day? Well, everybody can't move to the Pacific Northwest. But, I know if I go to a Phish show in Nashville, ATL, Memphis, etc., I will meet like-minded people who are a lot different than the general populace. I will certainly meet people willing to trip and roll. And then, I will go back to my small college and spread the word about good drugs, horny chicks, and a drummer who wears a sack dress. I'll probably bring some discs that I scored for a tab and be the cool kid with the latest tunes.

I also think Phish did an outstanding job of putting together the corporate side of it. They seemed to be the first to really tap into using "them internet webs" computers, with listservs, downloadable concerts, etc. If you go to Phish.Net, you can download thousands of shows. You can find mind-boggling stats. The Phish enterprise is computerized while the Dead are still using rubberbands around index cards.

And, I think there are Phish Phans like adks who can appreciate Phish's musicality. The fact that they are accomplished musicians lends credence to being a Phan. I can't imagine that they would have been able to "stay cool" all these years if they did not have the musicianship to back up their antics.

Music-wise for me: meh. I tend to like their covers better than their original songs. My favorite is a Halloween show where they cover "Quadrophenia": very nice.


TOOTMO

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Poster: clementinescaboose Date: Aug 16, 2011 6:50pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Comparing GD and Phish (Without Shooting Phish in a Barrel)?

Another reason I feel like Phish is more accessible to today's youth culture are the availability of these shows (like you said, band taking full advantage of the internet age) and the modern recording technology used to tape them. Most of my Phish tapes completely blow away any sound on almost any GD recording (except maybe certain vault releases) - even their audience recordings! One thing that always bothered me about GD (not their fault of course, but he limitations of the time period) is practically all my favorite shows have the absolutely worst sound quality - so a lot of times when I put on a really HOT tape from like '68-69 for my buddies, it ends up getting completely ignored...cause you can't even hear it!

If people could get past the 'sound' of a lot of GD tapes I think they'd garner more respect from the Phish Phan Umfreek groups.

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Poster: gr8flmed Date: Aug 15, 2011 7:51pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Comparing GD and Phish (Without Shooting Phish in a Barrel)?

Phish sounds like a Dr. Seuss book on LSD.